Hulu Guide: How to Register and Cost?
|Photo: Business Insider|
With an extensive library of TV shows, movies, and plenty of original content, there’s no shortage of perks on Hulu. Navigating the streaming service can be tricky for beginners, however, so if you have questions about pricing, signing up for a subscription, or using the site and app, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll cover everything for you in this complete guide to Hulu and Hulu + Live TV: Content, features, technical requirements, cost, and more — there’s a lot to go over. Settle in, get acquainted, and grab the Snuggie and popcorn, because you won’t be able to resist a good binge session if you end up subscribing.
What is Hulu?
Hulu is an on-demand video streaming platform that has been around for more than a decade. It’s one of the best and largest streaming platforms in the United States with more than 33 million subscribers.
For many traditional cable subscribers, Hulu also represents an excellent cable-cutting alternative. Not only does it have an enormous library of around 2,500 movies and more than 40,000 episodes from thousands of TV shows, it also has a plan to stream live TV through the Hulu + Live TV program (more on this shortly).
One controversial aspect that separates Hulu from most of its rivals is the use of ads. The cheapest plans (and bundles) feature ads in the content, similar to what you would see on network television. Paying for a service and still seeing ads might be disappointing for some users, but it does help keep the cost low.
For those who don’t want to see any ads, they’ll have to pay twice as much for the privilege. Unlike many other streaming services, you can also pay for premium add-ons individually for things likes unlimited simultaneous streams, TV channels, and more.
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What is Hulu + Live TV?
Hulu + Live TV basic is Hulu’s $65-per-month streaming service, which allows subscribers to watch live and on-demand TV programming from more than 65 live TV channels, including local news and live sports, along with everything you’ll get from Hulu’s on-demand tier mentioned above. Members of the channel lineup include Disney Channel, ESPN, CBS, NBC, Fox, Discovery Channel, TLC, Motor Trend (formerly Velocity), and Animal Planet.
As of January 2021, Hulu’s deal with ViacomCBS means that fourteen live channels have been added, including MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, NickToons, and more. Additionally, there’s the no-ad premium Hulu + Live TV for $70 a month, which is the same but with, you guessed it, no ads.
Hulu + Live TV is comparable to other services like Sling TV or YouTube TV that allow access to live programming without a cable or satellite subscription. Like those other services, Hulu + Live TV is not without its kinks. The streaming quality for live programs often is not as good as cable and may suffer with slower internet speeds or during high-traffic periods, though this can be true for almost any live TV streaming service.
|Photo: Digital Trends|
To watch on a computer, head to the Hulu + Live TV website at new.hulu.com. From here, you’ll see your options for on-demand content, as you would with a regular Hulu subscriber, but you’ll also see a Live TV button at the top of the screen.
There’s been a bit of a schism in the Hulu universe as the company migrated from its “classic” experience to its new “full” experience. If you’re only using Hulu on devices where the full experience is supported, you shouldn’t run into problems. If you’re using some devices where only the older Hulu app is supported, you might run into trouble: The old-style Watchlist and the new My Stuff don’t integrate very well. As Hulu continues to roll out updates to its full experience, we expect this area to continue to improve.
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How does Hulu work?
Hulu is a bit more complicated to use than other streaming services, especially if you’re subscribed to a Hulu + Live TV plan. Essentially though, it works the same, with a remote server that houses the content. You connect to this server on your device (mobile phone, tablet, smart TV, etc.) and start streaming, Android Authority cites.
No matter which plan you choose, you will have to answer a few questions before you can start streaming the first time. This is largely to see what kind of content you’re interested in for recommendations, and it can be skipped if you want to start streaming even sooner.
If you’re a Hulu + Live TV subscriber, you have to set up a Home network in order to gain access to local TV channels. You can only have one Home network, but you can change it up to four times a year for free. You will not be able to stream TV stations on non-mobile devices while away from your Home network.
In order for the streaming services to work smoothly, you will also need a solid internet connection. Here are the recommended internet speeds for Hulu:
1. 3.0 Mbps — Recommended speed for standard streaming.
2. 8.0 Mbps — Recommended speed for live TV streaming.
3. 16.0 Mbps — Recommended speed for UHD (4K) streaming.
How much does Hulu cost?
Hulu offers four different price options. The Hulu Streaming Library costs $5.99 per month with ads and $11.99 per month to watch ad-free. For $64.99 per month, you can add live TV to the ad-supported Hulu Streaming Library. Subscribers. Finally, you can have Live TV with the ad-free Hulu Streaming library for $70.99 per month. Hulu also offers add-on features. Read on for more details on Hulu plans and add-on features.
|Photo: Android Authority|
1. Hulu (with ads): This plan costs $5.99 per month, but provides an annual billing option priced at $59.99 per year. You are signing up for one year, but saves you almost $12, roughly 16.5% off the price of paying month to month for 1 year of Hulu. This subscription tier provides access to the entire Hulu streaming library. However, you do not get access to any live channels with this plan. This plan features on-demand TV shows from network and cable TV along with all the Hulu Originals. This plan is ad-supported, so you have to watch commercials when streaming Hulu on-demand.
2. Hulu (no ads): This plan costs $11.99 per month. There isn’t an annual billing option with this plan. With this plan, you get all the movies and TV shows in Hulu’s streaming library commercial-free. (Due to network arrangements, Grey’s Anatomy, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and How To Get Away With Murder will always have commercials). Again, this plan is for Hulu on-demand. You do not receive any live TV channels with this plan.
3. Hulu + Live TV: Priced at $64.99 per month, this plan provides the Hulu Streaming Library (with ads) along with live TV service for over 65 channels typically found on network and cable television. This plan provides the ability to watch on 2 devices at once, 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage, as cited by Grounded Reason.
4. Hulu (no ads) + Live TV: Priced at $70.99 per month, this plan provides Hulu Live TV and the ad-free Hulu’s Streaming Library. (Live TV will still have commercials)
5. Live TV add-on Features: If you subscribe to either of the Hulu + Live TV plans, you can also add the following features:
+ Unlimited Screens: For an additional $9.99 per month, you have the option to watch Hulu on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously.
+ Enhanced DVR: For an additional $9.99 per month, you can increase your DVR storage from 50 hours to 200 hours and gain the ability to fast-forward through ads on live-TV DVR recordings.
+ Unlimited Screens + Enhanced DVR: Get both of these add-on features for $14.99 per month.
There are also options to add premium channels and additional Live TV channels. We cover those later in this article. New customers can test any Hulu plan through a free trial.
|Photo: Grounded Reason|
How do you get it?
It’s easy to register for Hulu on either a smartphone or a computer. Navigate to hulu.com/welcome and go through the prompts on the screen. For easy payments, connect your Hulu account to your Apple or Android account. Hulu also has an easy sign-up process for mobile and TV apps, Digital Trends cites.
You don’t need to sign any contracts or long-term commitments, such as you would with traditional TV, to use Hulu. You can even take advantage of Hulu’s seven-day free trial and then cancel the service without any payment at all — though you still need to enter your credit card information when you register. If you should ever need to cancel your subscription, it’s an easy process online or with customer service, and Hulu will save your account information if you ever decide to sign up again.
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